It’s that time of the month again. As my bleeding begins, I prepare myself and enter the Red Tent. This means that I clear my diary for anything strenuous for the next week, schedule late mornings and early nights.
Writing in time to relax, long showers and luxurious massage blends for myself, I’m able to complete my cycle in a harmonious way. Withdrawing into myself, into my darkest depths, I’m able to take stock of where I am and how I am changing as I go through life. The Red Tent is my time to myself, and my personal insurance policy for a good and long life.
In the Red Tent I focus on how my body feels, on where there are tensions and how it lets go. A routine of simple stretching exercises tells me how stressed I am, and whether I’ve got issues I need to sort through. With heat packs, blankets and pillows I an as confortable as I can be.
Then I lie back and breathe. Breathing deeply and meditatively, I assess my mental health. This last month has been so busy that there is a reluctance in me to just let go.
A part of me would love to carry on working right now, even though it’s my day off. Breathing into this, I can feel my compulsion to work, to keep busy and to get things done drain away.
There is no place like the Red Tent for this exercise, it is my anchor. Slowly, I become more mindful of where I am and feel increasingly content. Breathing, I contemplate my different aspects and connect in with them.
The child, the wise woman, the shadow, the healer, the teacher, the magician – these are just some of my aspects that I connect with. Each aspect represents another side of me, another part of my psyche. Learning to get to know them all is such a great inner journey, and the Red Tent is the perfect place to make that journey in absolute safety.
My favourite Red Tent exercise is assessing my spiritual state. Having been so busy this last month, I haven’t prioritised my spirituality as I should have. So here’s my chance to touch base, and to reconnect with my inner goddess.
This month I am particularly drawn to an image from Buddhism of White Tara, the compassionate and healing. Meditating on her image I can feel her energy reaching out to me, as well as her vibration within me rising. After a while the two energies are resonating, pulsing together in me, through me and throughout the universe. I can hear sound, see colours and feel the wind it is a very powerful experience. Opening up and letting myself be cleansed and healed by White Tara, I suddenly feel connected with everything. The whole universe is within me and I am everywhere.
As the experience is complete my awareness returns to the Red Tent. I rest and sleep. Now all that remains is for my blood to bleed, to leave my body. As it leaves me, I feel cleansed and purified. In perfect balance in body, mind and spirit I allow the experience to replenish me. In this way, I recharge my batteries and go back into the world once my bleeding is over. Ready for another month.
Vild Prestegard is an anthropologist, holistic therapist, Reiki master and public speaker based in Norway. She is a regular blogger for Cycle Harmony. You’re welcome to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions and comments.